Craft & Design
Which Comic Book Character Is The Greatest Maker Of All Time?

It’s that time again, where I stick out my neck and offer up some opinion in these here parts. Previously we contemplated why the Arduino “won” and why it’s here to stay, then we looked at Sony’s assault on makers, and most recently we asked if public libraries could evolve towards becoming “hackerspaces” and TechShops. This round I’m going a little comical and asking “Which Comic Book Character Is the Best Maker of All Time?”

For many geeks, nerds, and makers, comic books are modern mythologies to be studied and learned from. We don’t worship dozens of different gods (for the most part) anymore, but most kids can name all of the X-Men, along with their powers, attributes, and a whole lot of extra “characters” that are more familiar to them than state capitals. Some of the most popular movies in the last 10 years have been based on comics. The comic book format is perhaps one of the best tools to educate, teach, and inspire, as seen in efforts like Howtoons (pictured above). I think some of the most popular comic characters in modern pop culture also happen to be makers! They’re engineers, they’re scientists, they use their incredible “maker skills” to fight crime! It’s not good enough for popular heroes to just have super powers, as you’ll see, they also need to be makers! Some of the heroes even have prototypes of modern-day hackerspaces :)

As many comic book debates have shown us, this topic could get completely out of control, but I think we can do it. I saw DC Comics had to shut their comments down after asking who would win in a race, Superman or Flash. But we’re makers — let’s show them how we can all discuss this and come up with the ultimate maker comic character of all time (and who would win in a fight for extra credit). Keep reading and get your comment-posting muscles warmed up —we’re going to figure this out once and for all!

Lex Luthor
Bruce Wayne (Batman)
Tony Stark (Ironman)
Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic)
Querl Dox (Brainiac 5)
Ted Kord (Blue Beetle)
Victor Stone (Cyborg)
Phineas Mason (The Terrible Tinkerer)
Jonathan Silvercloud Forge (Also called: The Maker, Genesis)
Michael Holt (Mister Terrific)
Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias)
Angela “Angie” Spica (Engineer)
Paul Norbert Ebersol (The Fixer)
Victor von Doom (Doctor Doom)
Other… ?

I picked 14 makers, but please feel free to suggest others in the comments. I’m going to provide a short overview of each one and some comments about them. For some makers with multiple origins or re-imaginings, I picked the one I liked best, but you’re welcome to suggest other versions if it’s a toss-up. After we review these 14, I’ll go over the criteria on what I consider “the greatest makers” and then we can nerd-fight it out in the comments and see how they all stand up.

Lastly, I’m going to award a prize to the best comment. The prize is Superman: The Black Ring by Paul Cornell & Pete Woods. Be funny, be smart, be creative, and it’s yours! I’ll do a post on Friday or over the weekend selecting the best comment.


Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor is one of the most dangerously intelligent men on the planet, a super-villain, a brilliant scientist, a billionaire industrialist, and Superman’s greatest enemy. This combination makes him an extremely powerful and formidable opponent; he is ruthless and efficient and creative. In addition to his personal vendetta against the man who thwarts his every scheme, from an ideological standpoint, he despises the alien man of steel for contradicting his human achievements. Luthor has always been a controversial figure in the public eye due to LexCorp’s corrupt business dealings, but he has also maintained political popularity.

It’s hard not start out with Lex: there’s a new comic series The Black Ring out this month (I read it, it’s awful: telepathic gorillas & death, really). Anyway, the thing about Lex I always thought was cool is that he’s just a powerless guy fighting this god-man Superman. Superman can just crush Lux at any moment. Lex has no superpowers, just his mind and his science. He’s made machines, worked with radioactive Kryptonite, whatever it takes! Lex did it. When Superman went nuts, they’d haul Lex out of prison to save the day, then toss him back in. (At least that’s how I remember it.) I think Lex was upset that Superman fit in better than he did on his own planet, oddly enough. So, Lex has the smarts, makes giant robots, has super suits, can build just about anything, and obviously can run a business. Besides being obsessed with killing Superman, he’s a maker’s maker, right? We have a few real-life Lex Luthors now — we just don’t have any Supermen to see what they would do if someone else got the spotlight.


Bruce Wayne (Batman)

Batman is the superhero protector of Gotham City, a man dressed like a bat who fights against evil and strikes terror into the hearts of criminals everywhere. In his secret identity he is Bruce Wayne, billionaire industrialist and notorious playboy. Although he has no superhuman powers, he is one of the world’s smartest men and greatest fighters. His physical prowess and technical ingenuity make him an incredibly dangerous opponent.

Bruce is a bit like Lex, with loads of smarts and cash to build or buy anything needed. Bruce doesn’t have a Superman-type enemy, just a collection of freaks and weirdos, which perhaps includes himself. Bruce is usually portrayed (when Batman) as a gadget nerd. Bat belts, bat cars, bat copters, bat tanks, bat-this-n-that. His bedroom looks like the Gizmodo RSS feed during CES. Bruce is usually hard at work designing and developing many of the items he uses. If I had to compare Bruce to our previous contestant Lex, I would say Lex is more of a scientist and Bruce is a more of an engineer, and with Lex being more of the EE and Bruce being more of the MechE. The thing I like best about Bruce (Batman) is found in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, when he totally kicks Superman’s ass — using his engineering skills, not his strength.


Tony Stark (Iron Man)

Anthony “Tony” Stark was born to Howard Anthony Stark and Maria Collins Carbonell Stark, owners of the prominent US firm, Stark Industries. As a boy, Tony was fascinated with building and controlling machines. At the age of 15 Tony entered the undergraduate electrical engineering program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and graduated with two master’s degrees by age 19. Tony went to work for Stark Industries, but showed more interest in living a reckless playboy lifestyle than using his engineering skills. At the age of 21, Tony inherited Stark Enterprises when his parents were killed in a car accident secretly orchestrated by rival corporation Republic Oil (later ROXXON). Still lacking in business acumen, Tony promoted secretary Virginia “Pepper” Potts to be his executive assistant and left the majority of his workload on her so that he could avoid what he saw as a burden.

Recently popularized in movies, Tony Stark is a pretty formidable maker. MIT pedigree, like many of the prolific real-world makers and even in the movies, he gets his hands dirty actually making things. Similar to Bruce and Lex, he’s a billionaire playboy/businessman by day, human-with-super-brain at night who makes the things he needs to become greater. I know we’re only three into this list, but so far I think Tony Stark might be the better engineer compared to Bruce Wayne. In some Batmans, Bruce has a super-suit, but Iron Man has it all the time, and it seems to work out pretty well. Batman could total amp up his game if he just made an Iron Man suit. Depending on what version of Lex you follow, he did that too.


Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic)

Reed Richards possesses a mastery of mechanical, aerospace, and electrical engineering, chemistry, all levels of physics, and human and alien biology. According to BusinessWeek, Mr. Fantastic is listed as one of the top ten most intelligent fictional characters in American comics. He is the inventor of the spacecraft which was bombarded by cosmic radiation on its maiden voyage, granting the Fantastic Four their powers. Richards gained the ability to stretch his body into any shape he desires.

Made spaceships, does engineering, has a killer lab. Can stretch out to reach behind the workbench. He’s worked on: space travel, time travel, extra-dimensional travel, biochemistry, robotics, computers, synthetic polymers, communications, mutations, transportation, holography, energy generation, spectral analysis. He also made a “uniform computer” — smart clothing for the Fantastic Four.


Querl Dox (Brainiac 5)

Querl has a “12th-level intellect”, which grants him superhuman calculation skills, amazing memory, and exceptional technical know-how. This increased intellect gives him superior calculating abilities, an encyclopedic memory and innovating scientific knowledge. By concentrating the power and disciplined nature of his mighty mind he safely operated the extra-dimensional device known as the Miracle Machine, which converts thoughts into reality. Using it, he successfully repelled the Dark Circle armies — repairing all the damage caused by the invasion — and completed the construction of the new Legion HQ. He has played three-dimensional chess against three powerful computers, added up every number in a math textbook in seconds, retained his memories and clarity of thought after being de-aged into a tot, resisted illusion-assisted brainwashing, resisted hypnotism and adapted many inventions and experiments.

This is a tricky one, Querl lives in the 30th and 31st centuries. So, it’s going to be hard to compare him with some of the more modern-day folks. But here we go: he invented the Legion flight ring (rings worn by Legionnaires which allow them to fly and communicate with each other) and made a Supergirl robot clone — that’s pretty impressive. He also made a force field belt, and the super-computer C.O.M.P.U.T.O. (not the same as that South Park computer). Lastly, he can time travel.

OK, so he’s a smart dude, but he was also born in the 30th century and is an alien, so I’m going to say that our humans who can almost do most of these things in present time are a little more impressive. Lex did time travel a few times and invented super computers, but Bruce, Tony, and Lex have all those too. The force field belt is nifty, but I bet Tony could reverse engineer it in an afternoon.


Ted Kord (Blue Beetle)

Growing up, Ted was extraordinarily bright. He was good at science, business, and everything else he tried. In college, he received degrees in Physics, English Lit, and Theoretical Mathematics. He considered joining his father’s business, Kord Omniversal Research and Development, Inc., of Chicago, but overall, he had no real direction.

When Ted’s uncle made an attempt to take over the world, Ted set out to stop him, recruiting the help of his archaeology teacher Dan Garrett — the first Blue Beetle, who could call on superhuman powers from an ancient scarab he had found in Bialya. In the course of the adventure, Dan was fatally wounded and asked Ted to carry on the legacy of the Blue Beetle, passing the scarab onto him. However, Ted couldn’t get the scarab to work for him, and eventually set it aside, electing to go ahead without it.

Ted trained himself to his physical peak, constructed an aerial vehicle affectionately nicknamed the “Bug,” made himself a Blue Beetle costume, and set out to establish his own identity as a superhero, using his wit, agility, and a large number of gadgets to stop evildoers.

Another super smart dude with no direction, who suddenly finds his cause when something bad happens. Not only is he smart, he doesn’t need the super bug to assist him — he builds tons of gadgets to fight crime.


Victor Stone (Cyborg)

Vic Stone was the son of a pair of scientists who decided to use him as a test subject for various intelligence-enhancement projects. However, Victor grew to resent this treatment and fell in with a young miscreant named Ron Evers, who led him into trouble with the law. This was the beginning of a struggle where Victor strove for his own life, engaging in pursuits his parents disapproved of such as athletics. In addition, Victor still kept bad company that led him into incidents such as when he was talked into participating in a street gang fight in which he was wounded. For the most part however, Victor still had a largely normal life under the circumstances where he also refused to follow his best friend’s grandiose plans of racially motivated terrorism.

Victor can interface with computers, and he has some smarts — but man, his parents experimented on him — that’s pretty harsh. He just wanted to be a jock, they were killed, he was injured — then cyborg’ed — so for the most he’s robot boy, and later joined the Teen Titans. More a programmer than a maker, he’s on the list, but just barely.


Phineas Mason (The Terrible Tinkerer)

The Tinkerer (sometimes known as the Terrible Tinkerer) is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in comic books set in the Marvel Comics Universe. The character has an almost superhuman gift of genius in engineering, able to invent sophisticated gadgets from nothing more than spare parts left over from ordinary household appliances. He is the third biggest weapon provider of the gangland (after Justin Hammer and Madame Menace).

He runs an underground fix-it shop disguised as a radio repair shop — that’s really cool. This is the guy who’s jailbreaking iPhones and PS3s for the kids in Spiderman’s neighborhood. Phineas makes giant robots for fighting Spiderman and is the go-to-gadget guy for all the villains. He’s more of a contractor than just a maker — he’s running a business making weapons and suits. He’d have an awesome booth at Maker Faire, likely next to SRL.


Jonathan Silvercloud Forge (aka The Maker, Genesis)

Forge was born to a Cheyenne tribe, and was gifted with great shaman potential. He was raised by Naze to become a great shaman and to defeat their nemesis The Adversary. He spent most of his youth under Naze’s training. At puberty, his mutant powers manifested. This consisted of him being able to understand any mechanical device and the ability to create one as long as he could imagine it. His powers made him doubt his life as a shaman since they represented the exact opposite ideal than that of his mystical/magical heritage. This confusion made him rebel against Naze and his teachings. He enlisted in the army and was shipped to Vietnam. While there, he used his powers to create weapons and other tech.

This guy is all over the place: he’s from a Native American tribe with special powers and he can understand any device. Forge’s ability is understanding devices, not exactly making them — so he’s super handy but we’re not going to get as many new inventions popping out of him as other super-makers. But, he did make a few: a means of detecting and combating the shape-changing alien Dire Wraiths, a scanner device that could detect the presence of superhumanly powerful mutants and extraterrestrials, a neutralizer device that can take super powers away. Not so shabby! I would say he might be the best reverse-engineering character so far.


Michael Holt (Mister Terrific)

At a young age, Michael Holt showed remarkable intelligence, reading and assimilating the works of Bohr, Einstein, Planck and Feynman, the pantheon of theoretical physics, at the age of six. He studied advanced science, space, and time “while other children struggled through Sesame Street.”

Holt displayed “a natural aptitude for having natural aptitudes,” as he called it, easily picking up and retaining complex skills and abilities that other men spent their entire lives perfecting. Before he began his career as a superhero, he already possessed 14 PhDs (two in engineering and physics — including doctorates and masters degrees in law, psychology, chemistry, political science, and mathematics), was a self-made multimillionaire with a high tech firm called Cyberwear (subsequently sold to Waynetech), and was a gold-medal-winning Olympic decathlete. Holt is also known as the “third smartest man on Earth.”

Bummer, known as the third smartest man on Earth — that’s got to be rough — smarts isn’t everything, but he seems to be behind Bruce Wayne. Maybe he’s actually smarter, but Bruce seems to actually build more things.


Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias)

Adrian Veidt has been deemed “the smartest man in the world” by many, mainly the media, though this title is deserved. Veidt deftly built both a legitimate and criminal empire large enough to become a global threat through his exploitation of advanced technology and genetics. In one scene, he is shown viewing a wall filled floor to ceiling with television screens, each showing a different image, in order to demonstrate his ability to pay attention to each one simultaneously and to have enough left over to pay attention to Rorschach and Nite Owl II as they try to sneak up on him.

He has ambition matching his intelligence, evidenced by his successful execution of a plan to help Earth towards utopia by ending international hostilities. He is shown to be a ruthless master strategist, swiftly eliminating anybody who dares to get in the way of his plans, while maintaining total secrecy. Additionally, Veidt is depicted at the pinnacle of human physical ability, to the point of being able to reflexively catch a bullet.

Smart enough to take on Dr. Manhattan (and win), Adrian is right up there in my short list. Building device(s) that can effectively jam Dr. M’s future-seeing powers and using this towards world peace is pretty impressive. Of course, to get world peace he wiped out millions of people — trade-offs.


Angela “Angie” Spica (Engineer)

A Brooklyn-born scientist, nanotechnology in her body allows her to fly and to create anything she can imagine, super genius intellect. [She was part of the effort] to change the world by removing the structure of society itself. There would be no more laws, no authoritarian structures, no crime and no war. The Engineer’s role in this plan was to seed nanotechnological oases across the planet. These oases would serve as “horns of plenty” providing every imaginable food, product and tool anybody needed… she can cover her body with liquid metal at will, fly, communicate with machinery, and create devices — including radio-telepathy bugs, weaponry, rocket engines, replacement lungs to cope with unfamiliar atmospheres and even additional copies of herself.

OK, this one is hard to figure out: the character hasn’t been developed enough for me to really see what’s possible, but nanotech and being able to imagine anything is pretty powerful. That said, there’s not a lot of “making.” Interesting goals, no crime — no war and giant food bowls for all. I really want to like this character, but “making” just isn’t a major theme — it’s more like an afterthought. It’s too bad, having “Engineer” as the best maker character would have been fun.


Paul Norbert Ebersol (The Fixer)

Paul Norbert Ebersol was born in Dayton, Ohio. He was a scientist who held a number of odd jobs, including auto mechanic, television repairman, and electronics laboratory assistant. He then became the second and more prominent Fixer, a supervillain and genius-level criminal inventor who has often worked for criminal cartels like HYDRA.

This guy sounds like almost everyone I met at the Hamfests in Dayton, minus the criminal cartel part. I would say Paul is a standard-issue maker, but over and over again he’s defeated by Captain America to Spiderman. Lots of cool projects across many comics, like brain transfers and cloning Kevin Costner — but he’s just not my cup of tea.


Victor von Doom (Doctor Doom)

Doctor Doom is a polymath scientific genius, depicted constructing numerous devices in order to defeat his foes or gain more power, including a time machine, a device to imbue people with superpowers, and numerous robots; Doom’s calculating and strategic nature leads him to use “Doombots,” exact mechanical replicas of the real Doctor Doom, for many missions, typically those where he fears defeat.

Victor’s a bit like Ironman, just evil. He’s made suits and robots, along with a time machine. He is “capable of energy projection, creating protective shields, and summoning hordes of demonic creatures.” Cool project, likely not going to hang out at a hackerspace without demons screwing with the laser cutter. He’s formidable, but likely a jerk.


Missing on This List

Missing from the list are characters I don’t know about, of course. I think my comic research was pretty good, but it’s not worthy of some of the hardcore fans I’m sure. Diversity, not too bad but there’s only one (sorta) female engineer/scientist? Really? Baroness from G.I. Joe doesn’t count, and the comic I made with Ladyada also does not count :) This is something that should really change — it would be really easy to make a super cool female engineer who makes military robots (kinda like Tony Stark), base it on Helen Greiner formerly of iRobot (and also from MIT), and boom, done — you’ve got an awesome comic — she plays a mean game of hockey too, from what I recall. We are what we celebrate, and I know more females who read comics than males. There should be a least a couple more on this list. All that said, I think there might be some good ones in Girl Genius (anyone have suggestions?). Also missing are small-time villains from various series that just made a giant robot once or something to rob a bank. Feel free to include those, but I’m looking for “the greatest.” Lastly, some characters are just “smart” but I didn’t put them in: Bruce Banner, Professor X, The Oracle (Barbara Gordon), Ray Palmer (The Ant), Hank McCoy (The Beast). I think maybe Professor X could make it in, but 14 was quite a bit. Gyro Gearloose was mentioned by Gareth, but should ducks count? I need to be convinced.


So Who is the Greatest Maker?

Greatest is a hard thing to figure out — it’s all opinion. This is an opinion column, and the comments are here for us all to figure this out. I might even change my mind after duking it out for the day. But things I considered: who had the greatest enemies, who had the biggest technical challenges, who consistently has made new things, who could adapt the most as needed? Who built more than bought, and who would ultimately win in a fight with all these other guys? Who would fit in the most at a Maker Faire as a speaker, a sponsor, or just someone attending? Who has captured the imagination for makers and inspired them?

So…. After thinking about this on and off for the last 5 years since we started MAKE, I think it’s close call between Lex Luthor and Tony Stark. I’ll admit that these characters have been around for a long time and have been developed, so that’s helpful, but that’s part of being “the greatest.” For many reasons, the readers like these guys, and it makes them more prolific. It’s also helpful if they’ve appeared in cartoons, movies, etc.

Reed Richards was in the mix too, but I tend to like regular humans who just have brains — as opposed to some type of powers. Not really fair, I know, but I’m willing to change my mind on this.

I really wanted it to be Lex Luthor — throughout the years he’s been smart enough to battle Superman, and depending on what incarnation of Lex you’re reading, he went on to be president. He’s usually not too concerned with getting rid of most of humankind — just one alien, Superman. Unfortunately, Lex doesn’t seem the type that would be interested in doing a talk at Maker Faire unless it involved tricking Superman in some type of giant Kryptonite mouse trap. I think Lex is more a loner who wouldn’t be that much fun surrounded by people who make things. Lex, to me, will always be the insurance policy for when Superman goes Supernuts, but he’s Lexcorp, and Lex, while prolific, isn’t going to be putting any Instructables up anytime soon. All that being said, the best compliment someone can say about someone else in my book is “wow, she/he’s Lex Luthor-smart.”

So that leaves Tony Stark. It’s a little easier since he’s “a good guy” but it also helps that he engineered the suit, actually makes things, and (thanks to Robert Downey) is a likable character. His origin is a good maker story, the usual — son of killed parents, he was head of mega-corp, Stark Industries, he was later kidnapped, forced to make something evil (WMD), made a super-suit instead, and became Ironman. He has ups and downs, and battles with many demons, including his own — he later starts another company (Circuits Maximus) and he gets his company back. He’s overcome physical and mental hardships, runs a business, still makes most everything he uses — he’s hero not because of strengths, but because of his weaknesses.

If you’ve been to Maker Faire, you could easily imagine Stark Industries being a sponsor and Tony giving a talk about his suit. He then might talk about running a business in the Maker: Business track. Perhaps it’s the writing, or the recent movies, but out of all of these makers, he seems to be the greatest. I still have hopes someone will come along and write a better Lex, but until then, Iron Man it is.

Who would win between Iron Man and all these guys? I’m not sure — I think he’d handily beat all the humans including Lex Luthor. And, for the aliens and super-mutants, given time, I think Stark could give them a run for their nano-tech. But I’ll leave who wins the death match up to you in the comments.


So what do you think? Is Tony Stark the greatest comic book character who makes things? Would he win against these other guys? If not, who? And who did I leave out? I’m sure there are better comic experts than myself, I’m just a fan. Please post up in the comments and in a day or so I’ll pick a winner of the best comment! Special thanks to Zay Amsbury for comic research.

322 thoughts on “Which Comic Book Character Is The Greatest Maker Of All Time?

  1. Adrian Veidt was quite a stretch, as he was only a mastermind, he had a team to do his evil (good?) stuff. I’d change Adrian Veidt for Dan Dreiberg, aka Night Owl. He built all his stuff (had a lab full of prototypes) and created stuff for Rorschach as well. I guess that Doc Manhattan could be included, even though he was a maker in subatomic level!!!
    BTW, Dan Dreiberg had stuff that can compete with Iron Man, even though his approach was more human-like that the one dealt to Iron Man (Dan’s exoskeleton prototype ended up injuring Dan’s leg, instead of being an almost perfect robot as Iron Man’s).

    1. You beat me to it. Dan Dreiberg is definitely the maker character in The Watchmen.
      I’m not sure how many of the characters listed here actually make their own stuff.

    1. Agreed, Agatha Clay/Heterodyne is the top maker(“spark”, in her comic terms) in a world of makers. She constructed the comic book equivalent of the RepRap with her Mini-Clanks (Autonomous workshop helper bots that self-replicate), she makes in her sleep (literally), and, moments after having been introduced to coffee, she builds a coffee maker that produces the world’s perfect cup of coffee (which puts the drinker into a rapturous state).

        1. Well, she’s still very much a freshman, and despite that managed to invent self-replicating machines – which I’m pretty sure is a genuine first in that world. She’s also hacked together a nigh-miraculous medical resuscitation, possibly in part using some sort of machine empathy/telekinesis. Plus, when she screams angrily at machines/scientifically-created monsters, they’re compelled to obey – certainly not a feat of genius, but wouldn’t that be handy around the shop?
          Greatest maker of all time is a hard call, but I’d be looking forward to her talk at Maker Fair more than Tony’s. Plus, anybody who can make coffee at her level deserves some serious nerd cred.
          Oh yeah, she’s done time-travel too, but the readers aren’t yet privy to whether this was an innovation of her own or not.
          (Apologies if this is a double post, somehow it seemed to have ended up as a separate comment rather than a reply on my first try.)

    2. Lucrezia Mongfish (Agatha’s mother) certainly deserves honorable mention as well. She was by no means the greatest mind of her time, but was cutting edge in the field of consciousness transfer, designed mind-control bugs that have ravaged civilization even after her disappearance, and was clever enough to be up to no good behind the backs of her husband and brother-in-law, who were the most preeminent scientists/makers of their era. Other accomplishments include repurposing the works of one of the greatest roboticists of all time, duplicating her persona into numerous other human and non-human vessels (remotely across impressive distances no less,) and somehow transmogrifying herself into a giant space dragon that’s made at least one very good throw at taking over the world (the circumstances behind this are yet to be explained – this might not be an alter-ego but rather a separate entity that co-opted her, or vice versa, or her human identity might’ve been a disguise all along.)
      I expect as the story develops we’ll see Agatha accomplish some feats worthy of legend as well – she’s still just getting rolling in many respects. But already she was on the verge of genius-level making even while encumbered by a device designed to suppress her intellect (to keep her hidden from her mom’s evil schemes.) In her first days without this hindrance she hacked together several robots that managed to impress leading, thoroughly experienced scientists in their design and capabilities, repurposed an unknown artifact into a powerful weapon in a matter of minutes while under siege, and converted a wagon caravan into a robot army (commanded by the music of a carnival organ no less.)

    1. wolverine and hulk only make destruction, usually – there isn’t a hulk-copter or wolverine-suit right?

  2. Also… I don’t want to nerd out too much, but Reed Richards is smarter than Tony Stark, and his intellect has nothing to do with his powers. He had all his same maker abilities before becoming stretchy.

      1. gimme a break, this isn’t a fight, it’s a capabilities comparison. If tony could build inter-dimensional travel he wouldn’t have to waste so much time in flight. Reed richards wins hands down, you just can’t compare someone who makes an exo-suit to someone who makes devices to transit dimensions.

  3. I not convinced that many of these characters even qualify as makers. A brilliant guy with lots of money to get anything built he can think of – that’s an industrialist, not a maker.

    Out of this list, Batman and Iron Man are the obvious choices. I’d go with Batman for the winner with the largest quantity and cleverness of things he personally makes (although I believe he has a lot of things made for him). I wish he’d go open source…

      1. I would disqualify all supervillains. Anyone that uses their skills purely for evil is a black-hat hacker, and we would do well to exclude them from our ranks.

        1. it’s a blurry line, what’s good or bad now? i helped “hack” the kinect, that’s “evil” depending on who you are i suppose.

      1. 1) Gearloose is not a duck – the beak form is more chicken-like.

        2) He is shown to actually engineer stuff – other than, for example, Batman, who for the most part only tells others that he had invented the gizmo of the day.

        3) Like most of us – Gearloose is basically a pacifist, not an aggressive war-mongering super-rich guy who seems to have to proove himself. Gearloose’s engineering is to build cool stuff, not to beat someone up.

        4) Gearloose was – for many of us – the original idea-giver of becoming makers, much more than e.g. Luthor or Stark.

        Not only should Gearloose be in the list, he should’ve won.

      2. why not?, in his universe he’s just a person with a duck like shape. All of these characters inhabit their own universe.

        as for being the best, Gyro didn’t do combat much, to Tony would win in a battle, but in terms of the number of different devices invented, and the range of different applications that the devices are used for, Gyro is pretty hard to beat.

        David Lang

        1. Yes – this contest is not named “best Human maker” it is named “best maker”. Gyro is a chicken. His lineage and family tree are documented in Wikipedia. But, what is Dr. Doom? Human? If so it is by virtue of his brain and intellect alone. And so must be Gyro. His intellect alone is what makes him a maker as it is for all of who put two or more things together to create a new function where before there was none.
          Yes, Gyro is a maker.

    1. That’s what I said too as I was editing the piece! And the first hardware hacker I knew here in DC (the guy who turned me onto Forrest Mims and Don Lancaster, Circuit Cellar, etc.) was named Gyro Gearloose, so I assoc that name with super maker geeks already.

    2. There’s actually a vintage 3-Panel Strip in Dells Gyro Gearloose (#1267), where a Kid wants his autograph just to show his friends, that Gyro is „not that important“. Reminds me of this posting, sadly ;)

  4. It’s not a comic book character (though he did appear in comic books), but I always enjoyed Wile E Coyote’s contraptions. Through them, I learned about Rube Goldberg machines – definitely inspired some creative tinkering for me as a kid.

      1. It’s been a while since I’ve seen any of the cartoons, but I remember him having elaborate blue prints for repurposing and/or assembling things that wouldn’t normally go together. for example, hiding ball-bearings in a bunch of bird seed so that he’d be able to follow the roadrunner with a giant magnet while wearing roller skates. Or, “Wile now puts together a meat grinder, a refrigerator, and an electric motor in order to move by electricity, and skis downhill towards the road…”

        Maybe not a maker, but a master of creative, if unsuccessful, repurposing :)

      2. aren’t we all mostly mail-order? Acme is clearly a veiled reference to McMaster-Carr.

        See also catalog #2481A65 for proof that they are one and the same. :)

          1. of course you are right, but I would still say that he is a maker — even though he buys things from a supplier, he uses them in ingenius ways. And he definitely voids his warranty, violates his user agreements, fries circuits, blows fuses and pokes his eye out all the time.

    1. you’ll need to say why they’re the greatest of all time. “nature” makes planets on its own (slow by our terms sure) i’m not impressed with the watchers :)

  5. I’m no guru of comic lore, but my vote goes to Tony Stark. Batman is king of the gadgets, but his equipment is manufactured by Wayne Industries, while Tony Stark is the sole designer, drafter, engineer, electrician, machinist, and welder of his own parts.

  6. I guess The Green Lantern doesn’t really count? Kinda defeats the maker spirit if you can just point your ring and have anything you want instantly. Come to think of it, his ring was kind of like a MakerBot, but way faster. Makes me want to build a MakerBot with a big Green Lantern Corps logo, and appropriate paint job, that only prints in green plastic…

    1. I’d list Agatha Heterodyne as the best Maker of all time, easily. And I can point to a single example why: The dingbots. Little, mechanical, Makers. (They are explicitly referred to in the story as *Sparks,* not just helpers.)

      She *made* Makers. In her sleep. As a side project. Out of spare parts.

      And they can make more Makers.

  7. I’d have to say Iron man is probably one of the greatest MAKERs in comics but I think spider man should at least be on the list.

    I mean peter did make most tech he used like his web shooters and the trackers by himself and he diid this all while bearly making ends meet. I also believe peter out did tony stark in computer programing in the “civil war” ark when he broke and rewrote the code in iron spider suit tony gave him.

    peter is (or at least was before brand new day BS and I stopped caring) smart, Inventive and did everything on the cheep.

    I’d say that makes Spiderman a MAKER too.

    1. i agree, i think peter parker (depending on the incarnation) was a promising student and scientists, he also made the web shooters – i don’t think he’s the greatest maker, but he’s a maker for sure. i hope SONY (who owns spiderman for movies) returns him to his maker-roots :)

      1. I agree also. Peter has always had to make stuff on the cheap and on the sly. I can easily imagine Aunt May worrying that Peter is always looking through the neighbors’ trash cans for an old VCR or something. He doesn’t have a lot of inventions under his belt, but his low-budget limitations definitely cast him as ‘one of us’.

        To be fair, Tony Stark had to make the Iron Man out of scrap junk and old radios or something, at least in the original Vietnam version of the story. He was also having to do this under the gun, so to speak.

  8. Ozymandias for sure.

    He is the only one on this list who has permanently defeated a godlike foe in Dr. Manhattan. While Lex Luthor may be able to claim a close second, having many times defeated Superman, setting back or foiling a foe with gadgets is not the same as using logic to defeat their being. It’s unthinkable that Luthor should be able to permanently convince Superman of the rightness of his path, to leave Earth and never return for the good of all humanity. Yet Ozymandias did. And Superman can’t even see the future.

    While he may not have rocket boots, or a super suit, or Ozymandius brand Shark Repellent, he is a quality over quantity persona. He has only one significant invention, which will never even bear his name: world peace.

    1. Reed Richards has fought and defeated god-like beings on many occasions, Galactus being the obvious example.

      And when it comes to world peace, I still think Mr. Fantastic trumps all – he built a ‘bridge’ to a location outside all time and space, where he could create a super-lab to work on “solving everything” – by collaborating with versions of himself from alternate dimensions. Would’ve done it too if it hadn’t meant sacrificing his family for the greater good!

  9. Well, if you include animation, then Phineas and Ferb win. They do more in an afternoon than any of these guys do in a month. And they clean up the yard after themselves, too.

      1. I agree with dexter. He is basically a baby that can talk (if you’ve seen the intro), build robots, and has his own giant secret laboratory which he probably made himself.

    1. Actually, there are a few junior graphic novels featuring Phineas and Ferb so YES, they would count as Comic Book characters. Besides, they make stuff to have FUN!

    1. Yeah, but the arrow platform limits his ability as a maker.  For him, the question is not, “can I invent a time travel device,” but “can I fit it on the end of an arrow?”

  10. It’s not really the comics but my vote is for the late Syndrome. And even then, none of these candidates are really makers in that most of their work is not open source.

  11. Well, she’s still very much a freshman, and despite that managed to invent self-replicating machines – which I’m pretty sure is a genuine first in that world. She’s also hacked together a nigh-miraculous medical resuscitation, possibly in part using some sort of machine empathy/telekinesis. Plus, when she screams angrily at machines/scientifically-created monsters, they’re compelled to obey – certainly not a feat of genius, but wouldn’t that be handy around the shop?

  12. Greatest maker of all time is a hard call, but I’d be looking forward to her talk at Maker Fair more than Tony’s. Plus, anybody who can make coffee at her level deserves some serious nerd cred.
    Oh yeah, she’s done time-travel too, but the readers aren’t yet privy to whether this was an innovation of her own or not.

  13. She’s not purely a comic book character, but I’ll put in a biased plug for Tinker Bell (I work on the Tinker Bell animated movies). Check out the books and movies to see a super-creative upcycling maker who engineers great contraptions out of bobbins, twigs, and old camera parts.

    1. Oh, that reminds me of the book “Tinker”, by Wen Spencer. Not a comic book, but a fun maker book. You gotta love a character who uses giant electromagnets and magic in the first chapter.

    2. I had to watch the entire Tinker Bell movie after I caught a snatch of dialog while channel surfing.

      “I’m a Tinker, we fix things. That’s what Tinkers do.”

      Substitute hacker or maker for tinker and there’s the Hacker/Maker manifesto in brief.

      By the way, I was floored by the eye ‘glasses’ used by one of the male fairies.

      Surface Tension FTW!

      1. Yay! Bobble’s “glasses” are way cool, although we may be taking some artistic license with water’s index of refraction…

        1. John, you work on Tinker Bell! Wow, my daughter would love you! She’s 3 and already has started carrying a notebook with her ideas after watching Meet the Robinsons. She says, ‘Papa, I am like boy! See!” and she shows me her book. She then has gotten out my screwdrivers and starts taking things apart and says, ‘See! Like Tinker bell!’

          1. OK, that’s just too adorable! I’m glad to hear your daughter emulating Tink, I think she’s a pretty good role model for budding female engineers/tinkerers/makers. (Coincidentally, I also worked on Meet the Robinsons — I rigged Carl the Robot and Doris the robotic bowler hat and a few other characters. A lot of my work at Disney has meshed well with the maker movement.)

          2. So cool! I have to say that on that first tinkerbell movie, I was a bit skeptical, but when I saw that she was building stuff from found items I was floored. I told my daughter, ‘Okay, you can watch Tinkerbell but pay attention to what she makes.’ I think she was taking notes!
            We’re always making stuff now!
            This is her sitting on the Snow Sculpture AT-AT I made for her and her sister.
            http://blog.mexicanviking.com/2011/02/how-to-make-at-at-imperial-walker-snow.html

  14. Since IDW is putting out Doctor Who comics, does The Doctor count? He whips up a lot of nifty devices and under immense pressure. I would see him being happy to present at Maker Faire too, although we may not be able to understand most of his lecture. ;]

    But back to actual candidates, I would have to agree with Tony Stark, out of all those listed I would think he would be the most intelligent, and the most capable to design something on the fly. Although I would like to make a case for Donatello, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a comic first, and Donatello was quite the inventor.

    …Although if ducks don’t count turtles probably wouldn’t either.

    1. The doctor’s people are or were supposed to be the most advanced race in the universe, possibly the multi-verses, so I would think the Doctor wins hands down. I mean, we have seen what he can do simply with a sonic screwdriver, imagine what he could do with a full shop/lab. If there is a Stargate Atlantis comic, Dr Rodney McKay would be a candidate, he knows quantum &
      astrophysics, Electronics, has worked with alien technology, & just seems to be a maker/tinkerer. There are Star Trek comics, & I think Scotty would be a maker, as well as Westley from the next Generation. I think two good polls would be, best makers from TV, & best makers from movies.

  15. Gotta go with Stark. A lot of the other candidates are brilliant but they don’t actually make their own stuff- where would they be without their financial resources and minions? Stark was able to work in cave with limited tools under adverse conditions to save his own life and become a superhero. He has both the intellect and the skills.

  16. For me the most obvious omission is Dr. Henry (Hank) Pym, also known as Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Yellowjacket/Goliath. He actually rivals Reed Richards as the top genius of the Marvel Universe, co-founded the Avengers, created Ultron much to his regret (who in turn fortunately created the Vison, et. al.) and has advanced academic aptitudes in bio-chemistry, quantum physics/nano-physics, robotics, artificial intelligence, engineering, mechanics and even etymology! Of course he also suffers from a whole host of psychiatric disorders, sadly.

    1. Yes, totally.

      Dr. Henry (Hank) Pym – aka Ant-Man / Giant-Man / Goliath / Yellowjacket / Wasp:
      *Discovered Pym particles (mass shifting)
      *Devised tech for communication with ants
      *Invented Ultron (ridiculously powerful android)
      *Named Scientist Supreme by Eternity
      –Not to be confused with Dr. Strange, former Sorcerer Supreme
      –Not to be confused with Lord Ernest Rutherford (http://www.rutherford.org.nz/)
      –This is disputed – might have actually been Loki posing as Eternity

      Probably other stuff too…those are the highlights.

  17. Chiming in to add:

    Deadly Nightshade (aka Tilda Johnson, a career criminal scientist who used her own robot thugs)
    Moira MacTaggert (do Nobel Prize winning geneticists count? she altered Magneto, among many other things)
    Lo (of the Amazons, who have a lot of makers in their midst – Lo is a minor character yet a blacksmith by trade and the weapons maker they all turn to)
    A nod for Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle)
    Starlight (Natasha Irons, aka Steel – programmer, builds her own armor, weapon is a hammer)

  18. Gotta go with Stark, although part of me wanted it to be Richards. Reed Richards and Tony Stark both make things to solve particular problems, but I get the feeling that Tony also makes some things just to be making things.

  19. *** I have no idea if these are spoilers… Civil War was ages ago, but alert anyway ***

    I don’t know… I think Reed Richards might be smarter than Tony. (Haven’t read that much fantastic 4) But wasn’t read smart before the dose of radiation? His IQ wasn’t affected by the transformation if I recall.

    Tony on the otherhand is no longer “just” human either, His extremis make over gives him kinda an unfair advantage. Despite this Reed still competes with post extremis toney, which then I would say makes him smarter…

    But like I said, haven’t read much fantastic four.

    Oh and lets not forget Peter Parker. He was able to among others, override Tony’s safety’s on the suite afterall without him noticing.

    1. Spot on! Reed Richards and Hank Pym are hands-down the greatest scientist/makers in the Marvel U (soon to be one-up’d by Reed’s daughter Valeria though), and my money would be on Reed to take top spot overall. His intellect and his superpowers are unrelated, and as you noted, Tony Stark’s been augmented by the Extremis armor which boosted the processing speed of his brain. Even before that though, Stark was more of a businessman/industrialist – Reed Richards has always still been waaaaay smarter, and builds things just for fun (even in his sleep) – Stark builds things for profit/necessity.

      Dr. Doom could compete with Mr Fantastic, but he’s aided by his knowledge of black magic so doesn’t count.

      ….I vote Valeria Richards ;P

    2. Well, scientist does not equal maker, really. So Reed is probably smarter, but Tony actually builds more stuff himself. He does the Iron Man, but you can also see him going McGyver and jury-rigging stuff. Reed’s accent is less building neat gear but dealing with cosmic weirdness and never worries much about resources.

  20. What, Bulma from Dragon Ball isn’t on this list? Last time I checked, Japanese comics were indeed comics.

    She built a time machine out of spare parts! She’s reverse engineered advanced alien technology! C’mon guys!

  21. I believe you should also take in consideration Batman. It’s true that he didn’t build his own super strong suit, but in the Justice League he made his own space station for all the super heroes!! He can be a lonely wolf sometimes, but when it matters he is there, so I bet he would be at the Maker Faire :P
    Last but not least he doesn’t have any body enchantment like Tony :P Haha maybe because he like to take it personally :P

  22. And Dilbert? I think he is the best engineer… Didn’t you see the strip where he is explaining the disaster recovery plan for the company? Neat!

  23. We owe at least a nod to the early Dilbert. Before the strip became an office politics critique, Dilbert made anti-gravity machines and had a pet dinosaur.

  24. No Doctor Octopus?

    For female engineers, how about Kaylee Frye? She didn’t originate as a comic book character, but she’s been in a few comics.

    Granted, neither of those would likely be winners (for my money that’s Ozymandias, although Tony Stark is a good choice too), but they certainly seem to be worthy of being on the list.

    1. yah, doctor octopus likely should have made the list – for some reason i get him confused with von doom.

      as far as firefly goes, kaylee is a top engineer – but not in the comic world and not “a maker” as far as making new things. that said, i might need to do a “best engineer” in sci-fi article :)

  25. Batman is the -most effective- character in the lot… and I honestly think he would beat Tony Stark in a fight (he’s taken out the whole Justice League… AND Darkseid!). He is prepared for nearly any eventuality, and when unprepared, adapts as quickly as any human could hope to.

    I’m afraid I do have to admit that Stark better fits the “maker” mold than Bruce, even though Bruce is the best hero.

    Missing: John Henry Irons (Steel) – might be construed as a knockoff of Iron Man, but stands on his own merits. He’s certainly more of a maker than Cyborg.

    Correction: Ray Palmer is The Atom, not The Ant (nor is he Atom Ant).

  26. Most definitely Tony Stark. There are so many technical challenges to making that supersuit: supplying the energy for it to be able to fly, creating it so that it’s virtually indestructible, developing high power weaponry for the suit, etc.

  27. Id have to go with professor Keenbean (Richie Rich). What first popped into mind was Gyro Gearloose (donald duck) But I can remember Keenbean does a lot more cool stuff.

  28. From Girl genius, Agatha Heterodyne hands down. The web comic is all about super Makers so to speak, so there is a lot of targets, but Agatha is probably the most talented active character in the series.

    Personally, I miss seeing Dilbert. He’s created some crazy invention and he has to be a great engineer or that company of his would have shutdown long ago from bad management practices.

  29. No love for Toyman? Sure, he’s a minor Superman villain, but a very clever one. Hector Hammond? Will Magnus? Heck, in a twisted way the original Firestorm even qualifies. There are so many candidates that could have made the list. Not that any of these guys would necessarily be the greatest (although I think making the Metal Men is a pretty awesome accomplishment for a comic book human) they deserve some recognition.

    As for the greatest in comics? Duh… the Guardians of Oa. First the Manhunters, then the Green Lantern power rings, batteries and the GLC.

  30. Well, as much as I like Iron Man / Tony Stark, Dr. Doom would clean his clock. Sorry. :) You’re also missing The High Evolutionary whose tech is mostly in the genetic manipulation category, but awesome nonetheless.

  31. + Henry Irons. He was one of the Superman from the return of superman. He lived in the Forge.
    + Spider man doesn’t show off a lot, but from time to time we get a glimpse of his science side.
    ++ Cable is definitely up there on the list. He has always been making things and he has that cube.
    ++ Beast of the X-men. Stars and Garters, he never left a gadget alone & rarely did one turn on him.

    I vote for Hank Pym unless you add > “Powers and Abilities” >> Rusty Can > Iron Man

    The High Evolutionary is Galactus and Sinestro combined. No geneticist or scientist more capable.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Evolutionary

    Superhuman intelligence, Telepathy, telekinesis, precognition & cosmic awareness, Vast matter & energy manipulation abilities, Wears a sentient superhumanly durable armor, capable of regeneration

    We should be thankful that he has no interest in taking over the world. Taking over the world… That reminds. Honorable mention to Dogbert. He may be a dog, but he and the garbage man make some pretty fantastic on the spot inventions. Dare I say they are both better on the spot inventors and philosophers than Mr Fantastic.

    1. “The High Evolutionary has evolved his intelligence to the upper limit of human potential, and is considered the leading geneticist in the Marvel universe, as well as one of the most brilliant beings on Earth, knowledgeable in biology, genetics, chemistry, medicine, physics, engineering, human psychology, and computer science and cybernetics. Due to experimentation on his own genome, his highly enhanced brain and cybernetic exoskeleton, The High Evolutionary has demonstrated god-like powers; such as the ability to evolve and devolve life-forms; matter manipulation at a subatomic level; matter creation; energy manipulation and projection; cosmic awareness; precognition; telepathy; telekinesis; extra-dimensional travel; and size alteration. Of note, the High Evolutionary has forged weapons for his New Men that show some anti-mystical properties, as demonstrated by a lance wielded by the Beast that was actually able to damage the Darkhold.”

      super smart dude, but what does he make? smarts just isn’t everything.

      1. I think you might have answered your question with your quotation.

        In my opinion the high evolutionary is kinda like stark, reed, and doom combined with mister sinister.

        The only reason he has god-like powers is because of his tech. (his cybernetic exoskeleton and other devices)

        But I wouldn’t vote for him as greatest maker because he’d be too busy creating life in distance planets to show up at a faire

  32. Tony’s a maker – but he tends to hack a few things and leverage them heavily for heroic purposes.

    Lex is no gadget nerd – and he doesn’t make for enjoyment, just to attain his other goals.

    Reed has an impossibly high level of productivity, and does a lot of it ‘just because’. So I think he wins on points, but isn’t as satisfying a choice because he seems to be just a bit too magically productive to be believed.

    1. As I tell folks, there is carzy good & there is crazy bad. Einstein & Tesla were crazy good, Howard Hughes was just a little off the deep end, Hitler was crazy bad. He almost took over the world, but in all the most destructive & wrong ways. One day, we may have a unified world, with one leader to unify all the world’s countries, but it will hopefully be through peace & mutual cooperation, not through violence, war, etc.

  33. Reed Richards is the ultimate maker. Not only does he build things he loves, but things go wrong and he makes even cooler things like the fantastic four themselves. He is a true maker. Made machines to go in space, alternate dimensions, etc. You can not best Reed period!

  34. I see no one’s mentioned Washuu from Tenchi Muyo yet – true, she is more of a scientist than an engineer, but she did make a few things… like a cute little animal that could transform into a huge spaceship, that should count for something! ;] (Though maybe that was in the anime version? It’s been a while…)

    Also, Wikipedia apparently has a list of fictional inventors:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Fictional_inventors

  35. Wile E Coyote isn’t a comic book hero as such, but I think he’s pretty Maker-iffic.

    Of the two, I’m inclined to the canine, and his never-ending quest to creatively re-purpose whatever is at hand (or available mail-order). The Roadrunner is cute and spunky, for sure, but a coyote’s gotta eat after all. Circle of life. That WEC fails, fails, and then fails again, feels awfully familiar to me. We both keep trying.

    1. “Madison Jeffries is a mutant gifted with the ability to mentally restructure glass, plastic, and metal to anything within his imagination, including remote manipulation and control of devices. Recently, his powers seem to have evolve to full technopathy, being able to communicate with machinery.

      While wearing the Box armor he has increased strength, stamina, and resistance to injury as well as an array of technological devices such as boot rockets, various scanners, and assorted weapons. Madison can reconfigure the Box armor to any form he can conceive, including various vehicle modes. Using Madison’s powers, the Box armor can also absorb additional materials to increase its size and mass as needed. However, while merged with Box, Madison can only transmute the armor itself, and must separate from Box to use his powers to affect other materials without absorbing them into the armor.”

      he’s pretty cool, but i think he’s not making stuff as much as tony stark right?

    1. he’s on the list of “missing from the list” … i think he’s more of a scientist, but not a prolific maker.

      1. He’s been more active as an inventer of late. For a while recently, Dr. Banner wasn’t able to transform into the Hulk – not something he minds – and was “hanging with the big boys” with insanely powerful energy shields and the like.

  36. What makes a maker a maker? Is it only the ability to build neat gadgets or is it an attitude and philosophy as well. If I were to make a concept map of words that I think of when I think of Maker they would include. Kind, Inventive, Smart, Underdog, Open Source, Linux, Frugal, Non Proprietary, Curious, Non Mainstream, Steam punk, Artistic, Problem Solver, Good Guy, Champion for Freedom, Share, Community, Sustainable…… I could probably think of some more but you probably get the idea. Now if we start eliminating people on our list the bad guys and Tony Stark are out, sorry but Tony Stark would be like giant proprietary company maybe beginning with an M or an A. I don’t know some of the characters on your list as much my vote would be for Peter Parker and then Cyborg. If you think about Peter Parker he is a young science student that makes his own gear is misunderstood by the law and saves people with not only his superpowers but his quick intellect and ability to reverse engineer doomsday devices. I Just Sayin!

    1. great comments troy – i think tony stark is usually considered a good guy, but yah – he’s also a weapons dealer. at this time there really isn’t an “open source hardware” version of tony stark that’s giving out grants for public libraries and hackerspaces, but i hear ya.

  37. Missing from the list, the rich man who fights for what is right after his father was killed, the man who’s technological prowess makes him one of the greatest scientists of all time, the man Batman is a pale imitation of, Clark Savage Jr. While mostly a pulp hero, he has made comic book appearances, and is the basis for Tom Strong, who is mentioned in one of the posts.

  38. Lets step back a few years to another great inventor that is neither Marvel nor DC. He invented many crazy gizmos, contraptions and devices used by others. He supplied many devices for a little known hero and sidekick team. He has his financial needs fulfilled by his patron and sponsor who also leads the heroic duo I mentioned previously.
    The main issue with his ability to win as the greatest maker is that he is nobody’s hero. He is also easily sidetracked and the fact that while his devices work wonderfully, it’s not always as one needs it to work. Take his weather prediction device, he needed to step it down a few decades as it was predicting weather 15-20 years from now.
    I am referring to Professor Keenbean of the Richie Rich comic line. Richie and Cadbury were the heroic duo using tools provided by the professor.

    1. All Hail Professor Keanbean! Totally the guy I would name here (and that movie version of Prof.K was insanely bad. so out of character). Still my childhood hero.

  39. I have some more that might be worth mentioning.

    I think everyone is overlooking Magneto. Not normally thought of as a maker, but various Asteroid M’s and other bases are pretty impressive so is Cerebro and all sorts of things he assembles/disassembles using his powers.

    Also don’t forget

    Douglock(Cypher and Warlock merged) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warlock_(New_Mutants)#Douglock:

    Wiz Kid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taki_Matsuya#Powers_and_abilities

    Beast (who was Forge before they had Forge): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beast_(comics)

    Doctor Octopus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Octopus

    Harold Allnut (who used to build gadgets for Batman): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Allnut

    Ultron (he primarily just made robots, but he was prolific if nothing else): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultron

    and if you mention Ultron you have to mention his creator Hank Pym: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Pym

    Ratchet from Generation 1 Transformers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratchet_(Transformers)

    Box as a representative of Canada: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Box_(comics)

    More than all the others I can’t believe I almost forgot about this last one. He really is an amazing maker/fixer character possible one of DC’s best: Kilowog http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilowog

    1. i’m tempted to do “best makers” of sci-fi , but it could take years to complete. besides geordi la forge is way better ;)

      1. No way. Even Geordie had to admit it was genius for Scottie to park himself in a transporter loop. Besides… it was Spock that made subspace comms and time machines out of early 20th century technology. And speaking of time machines, don’t forget One Point Twenty One Jiggawatts guy.

    1. “Some of the gadgets described in the series became reality, including flying wing, answering machines, television, automatic transmission, night vision goggles, electromagnetic rail guns, and hand-held automatic weapons called “rapid-firers”, although these fired sleep-inducing “mercy bullets” rather than regular lead bullets, in keeping with Doc’s firm code against the taking of human life, even the most evil.”

      hmm, good one!

    1. sometimes, it all depends on what batman you’re reading – but yah – that happened a lot, that’s why i picked tony stark, for whatever reasons the writers always actually had him making a lot of the gear.

  40. Spider-Man, while he did make his own webshooters and remote camera device claims not to be good at “practical engineering” because he’s just a scientist, so he has Johnny Storm help him out making the awfully conceived Spider-Mobile. I’m not saying either should be on the list. I just wanted to boost my nerd cred.

  41. Not a lot of love for Querl Dox. The guy has designed and built (off the top of my head) a functioning time sphere, a serum to cure kryptonite posioning, a different serum to cure lead poisoning, the aforementioned flight ring and forcefield belt, and a containment device for a dwarf star.

    Not only that, but he has a 12th level intelligence, when the entire planet Earth of the time only rates a level 11. What’s not to like about the guy?

  42. Great writeup and initial set of characters to work with. This is a fun article and discussion. Thanks!

    I want to throw Henry Pym into the ring as well. I don’t think that they’ve done the character justice in recent years but the guy created Pym Particles (one of the most fun and useful inventions ever created). He’s an expert in robotics and A.I. (Ultron). When you think about The A.I. in Ultron, you can’t help but see connections with SkyNet and the Terminator films…

    I don’t think anyone can touch him in the area of robotics (and possibly Androids) if Marvel really backed him up. Although he created the Thor version in Civil War (the one that killed Goliath) with the help of Richards and Stark – in truth… this is precisely what he can do alone. Not so much create killing machines but the most advanced A.I.-driven robot/androids.

    He also created a cybernetic helmet which can communicate with insects and have them do his bidding. He also works alone and doesn’t have billions and tons of resources (like Batman, Iron Man, Luthor). He’s the lone gifted hacker in a sea of “corporate software engineers”.

    I always liked Reed but often there’s too much “deus ex machina” going on with him. He works all the time but rarely produces tech that he uses everyday. Doom, on the other hand, uses everything he creates and incorporates it into his daily living (or world domination plots). So I guess, Reed is more like Einstein (theoretical) and Doom more like Tesla (practical). A big thumbs down with Doom because he now also posseses extreme magical powers. Pym’s Ultron would tear him in half, 50 tons of insects would converge on Doom and strip him to the bone, he would be miniaturized to ant-size proportions and unceremoniously stepped on. Oh wait… Doom’s got magic… never mind…

    Brainiac was my first choice when I started reading the article but there’s something almost unfair about him. I agree with your arguments against him and he might be better off in a different category (with guys like Metron of New Genesis).

    My vote is for the under-rated and poorly used Pym. fyi… In West Coast Avengers (80’s), they did a pretty good job with his character. I think this was the last time they touched on some of the things he is capable of.

  43. I gotta go with Tony Stark. Not so much because of his awesome second suit but because of his awesome first suit that he built out junk parts. Now that’s a maker.

  44. How could anyone leave ‘Brains’ of International Rescue out? He built all the Thunderbirds, including the orbital space station and Tracey Island…..

  45. How bout Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars?

    He did build C-3PO n modded Pod-Racer at the age of 9, n tht too being a slave. Its also mentioned in the clone wars tht he modded R2-D2.

  46. I would say doctor doom would be the victor here – he has proven it in all infinity wars. Even Thanos, Silver Surfer or Warlock would bow down to his inventions.

    1. I would still bet my money on Doctor Doom. Only Doctor Doom can make gadgets that could actually defeat cosmic beings. I would like the author to consider Doom on top of the list. I’m an avid fan of this villain. :)

  47. If you include some awesome tie in comics… Isaac Clarke is officially recognised as an engineer by a Corporate body. He’s a super space suit, necromorph stomping, dementia psychosis ridden bad muther flipper.

  48. Apparently, this list is limited to dead-tree US comics? That’s the reasonable way to explain the absence of characters from manga and webcomics.

    The first characters that lept to my mind are Agatha Clay of Girl Genius and Winry Rockbell of Fullmetal Alchemist… and look, they’re both women! Maybe take a look at the TV Tropes entry for Wrench Wench to fill out the distaff half of this list, eh?

  49. The Junkman from the “Astro City” title. A 65-year-old who make a jetpack from an old canister vacuum cleaner.

    And there’s a problem with your Engineer:

    “[She was part of the effort] to change the world by removing the structure of society itself. There would be no more laws, no authoritarian structures, no crime and no war. The Engineer’s role in this plan was to seed nanotechnological oases across the planet. These oases would serve as “horns of plenty” providing every imaginable food, product and tool anybody needed… ”

    Actually, no she wasn’t. That was her predecessor. Angie received his nanotechnology designs when he was defeated by StormWatch.

  50. I am absolutely stunned by the fact that after 165 comments there are scattered votes for Wyle E. Coyote and Dexter but not a single person has brought up the ultimate inventor: JIMMY NEUTRON !!! Not only is he a cartoon character but also a movie star but yes, even a comic character as he has been drawn up in panel art for years in Nick Magazine.

    Broaden your horizons and look beyond comic books. If you have not explored the world of Jimmy Neutron, you are really missing a wonderful universe that not only beats all of these other candidates here but brings a smile to your face remembering the boyhood joy of wanting to make things. Jimmy Neutron (and his robot dog Goddard) totally RULE!!!

  51. I am absolutely stunned by the fact that after 165 comments there are scattered votes for Wyle E. Coyote and Dexter but not a single person has brought up the ultimate inventor: JIMMY NEUTRON !!! Not only is he a cartoon character but also a movie star but yes, even a comic character as he has been drawn up in panel art for years in Nick Magazine.

    Broaden your horizons and look beyond comic books. If you have not explored the world of Jimmy Neutron, you are really missing a wonderful universe that not only beats all of these other candidates here but brings a smile to your face remembering the boyhood joy of wanting to make things. Jimmy Neutron (and his robot dog Goddard) totally RULE!!!

  52. It’s not a comic character, but I’d surely not mind seeing it adapted into the realm of comics or movies.

    The best “Maker” character I’ve ever come across on any platform would have to be the GSV Sleeper Service from Excession by Iain M. Banks.

  53. While I don’t necessarily put him in the top 14 you have, Peter Parker did create a set of web shooters and the chemical webbing they shoot at the ripe old age of something like 16 years old. He has also held conversations with Reed Richards where Reed was impressed by the level of chemical genius he possesses. He surprised everyone in Secret Wars when, only known as Spiderman to most, he added some very intelligent insights into a conversation that Reed, Bruce, and other braniacs were having. He may not make much, but Spiderman is no slouch in the smarts department.

    Also, the Weaponer who created the Yellow Rings for Sinestro is a very prolific maker who is able to harness the White energy that as yet, no one else has been able to harness reliably.

  54. Although not one of the GREATEST makers of all time, definitely deserves to be on the list: Frank Castle, The Punisher. Although his raw fire power and munitions expertise often overshadow his other skills, and what tinkering he does is often in a raw, clunky, black box, exposed wiring form, he does specialize in weaponry, personal protection, and military intelligence. Definitely a Macgyver style maker when it comes down to ingenuity.

  55. I would vote for Iron Man or Mr Fantastic, since they both seem to come up with new things all the time as they come up with new ideas, but there is one character I think is more deserving more deserving: Henry Pym- Ant Man. I know, I know- “the guy who can shrink?” But take a closer look. He developed the technology to shrink and grow people and objects, and he created the A.I. Ultron, but there is something about him that no one else on the list has in their resume. Whenever one of the Marvel Comics geniuses needs help, he seems to be the first guy they call. He helps out both Tony Stark and Reed Richards all the time. So he can do his own stuff and jump in to anyone else’s work too, and is glad to do it. He doesn’t have the ego the others do to get in the way.

    1. If we are including the movie versions of comic book characters, then Tony created J.A.R.V.I.S. I don’t know about Ultron, but I think the feat of creating J.A.R.V.I.S. would probably equal Henry’s feat.

  56. Since there was a Back to the Future animated series, I nominate Doc Brown. Seriously, the guy invented time travel, in a DeLorean, (not a phone booth. [+ for Bill and Ted, – for Doctor Who]). He could make anything…

  57. There is always Gear from Static he did create backpack, and saved the Justice league’s watchtower using Mp3’s

  58. I think it would help to have some criteria as to what constitutes best maker, else it seems like a bit of a popularity contest. Some thoughts:

    – Well, it may seem obvious, but a maker *makes*. it should be someone who builds things with their hands. While Batman has some incredibly amazing technology, and kudos to his genius (he’s beaten superman, darkseid…), I think of him more as a designer than a maker.

    – Inventive genius comes from within to use the tools at hand, even if those tools are sticks and stones. So, while Angie Spica can “make” almost any idea come true, she isn’t actually making anything in a strict sense, and she requires nanobots to do what she does. Reed Richards has some unbelievable technology, but where would he be in the stone age? Batman has been reincarnated (as it were) in many eras, and that trope works well in almost any setting – he’s as good at steam punk as he is at besting super-powers.

    – While most of the characters named above and below are serial characters, you listed Adrian Veidt, so what about Dr. Manhattan? He can re-arrange atoms at will, and he definitely made some incredible technology. More generally, are there one-off characters out there we’re missing?

    – A maker should be able to work in any field – lasers are cool, but which of our heroes could make an amazing greenhouse, or build a better tractor, or would build their own laptop from spare parts instead of buying one off the shelf? Which one makes “everything”, and not just uber-weapons? Who makes things for the joy of making things, not just crime-fighting tools?

    – Lastly, I think a great maker produces things for others as well as themselves. While Tony Stark might get along well with the RIAA, how about that cheap power? How much of the maker’s work winds up at least usable to the public, if not actually “open” to the public?

    $.02

    Neil

  59. As a gearhead I have to vote for Fujiwara Bunta (ably assisted in the build and tune by Suzuki Masashi and, later, Matsumoto Suichi).

    A Group-A TRD silvertop 20v 4A-GE in an ’85 Corolla? Yes! Have some!

    And in the manga, unlike the anime, it was carbureted. Oh Gods. I need a cigarette now.

  60. Magneto is definitely missing, he has made planets and asteroids. When satellites attempted to keep him from returning to the planet earth he created a device that not only shut down the satellites, but turned off EVERY electronic device on earth…Sorry, but THAT is hacking, and that is brilliant!!!

  61. Magneto is missing. He has numerous brilliant things, among them made planets & asteroids, but the one that takes the cake to me is when satellites were attempting to prevent his return to earth he made a device that not only shut down those satellites, but turned off EVERY electronic device on earth. Now THAT is some serious f’ing hacking! Brilliant.

    1. so far ducks haven’t really been included, so it will be hard to include turtles – but he’s a good one!

  62. I agree with your criteria, and by that reasoning, I still go with Tony Stark. To quote Obadiah Stane, “Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave! With a box of scraps! “

  63. Two quick thoughts. In the Marvel universe, hank Pym had a conversation last year with Eternity (the sum total of existence personified) where Tony Stark was deemed to be “The Engineer”, more gifted a builder than a pure scientist. If the sum total of existence says so, that’s good enough for me.

    In the DC Universe, how about the Green Lanterns? Sure they can fly, survive in any environment, and translate languages, but the whole point of having a power ring is that it’s used to make whatever the wearer can imagine out of green energy and will power. If you go back to the Golden Age Alan Scott in the 1940’s through Hal Jordan and his contemporaries, these guys have been the most consistent bunch of makers in comics for around 70 years now.

  64. Dr. Bill Tenma (Created Astro Boy, how many above actually made a super hero, intelligent, autonomous robot? Among other things.)
    Dr. Slump (also made ah… “intelligent” robots with super abilities.)

  65. batman (bruce wayne)
    ironman (tony stark)
    blue beetle (ted kord)
    mr. fantastic
    dr doom
    lex luthor
    the tinkerer

    They all have comic scenes where they’re busy building their own circuits, machinery and devices from other devices.

    In my opinion all could be consider polymaths and all are the greatest makers of all time.

  66. For raw human making ability, Gina Diggers from Fred Perrys Gold Digger series (antarctic press) wins for building a a suit of power armor from a pile of scrap metal while locked in a dungeon (Tony stark started with some tools).

    However, I think the larger matter is some people build gadgets, and some people build things that change the world. Stark’s repulsar technology is used by shields, and his early power armor designs are the basis for many more in the marvel universe. Does anyone else on the list have the same history of his stuff being used and developed on by other people? (I could see Ozymandias having spread his tech, but we don’t know for sure)

  67. i didn’t read through all the replys but to me it’s between stark and mr fantastic.
    but here’s the deal breaker….
    stark has always been about the money.
    mr fantastic has never been about the money, and has just done it for the love of doing it.

  68. Not a long lasting comic, but Curtis Metcalf aka Hardware should be on the list. He exists in Daktoa universe that brought about “Static Shock”. He created all types of cool weapons and gadgets. For the base of his armor he created liquid steel, all of the strength without the rigid structure.

    One of the best parts about him was that his secret lair was in the basement of his arch nemesis’s corporate hq.

    Hardware had as one of his enemies, “Software” which was a female version of him. Yes I hate the play on words for her name, but she was able to replicate most of his equipment and create her own without typical reverse engineering (from what I recall).

  69. I want to suggest that all the millionaire playboys are really wannabe makers. There is only one backyard tinkerer-with-scraps, only one who is willing to appear ridiculous in public with his ridiculous-looking inventions, only one who is as well known for his failures as his successes. I submit for your consideration Gyro Gearloose, Duckberg’s own inventor since 1954.

  70. Daniel Dreiberg, the second Nite Owl. He wasn’t the industrialist that Adrian Veidt was, but more of a “maker” in that he built and maintained his own equipment in his basement.

  71. What about the maker of the makers? Stan Lee not only created the characters, but he came up with all the devices before his characters ever dreamed them up. Without his powers of wordcraft and narrator omnipotence, Reed Richards, Doctor Doom, and Tony Stark would not be on this list.

    I know he’s a real person, but he has made enough comic cameos that I think this counts.

  72. It seems to me that if you want to talk about true “Makers”, you should include a few webcomics and alternative press comics in the mix…

    How about “MindMistress”, with that silver age style hero style and home built inventions for everything from a private headquarters in a pocket universe to super suits. http://mindmistress.comicgenesis.com/

    Or “Girl Genius”, for a good solid dose of mad science? http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/

    I would include Dr. McNinja, just because… well, he’s a doctor and a ninja… but he’s not as much of a maker as a… um… ninja doctor.

  73. Don’t forget KK from Freakangels (awesome webcomic btw.)
    She rebuilds societal basics from scrap parts and then designs and builds herself a helicopter for kicks.
    She’s has natural and supernatural engineering ability, a photographic memory, and psychic powers.
    I love the comic and it comes out every friday (online only,) so it’s on my mind.

    My two cents (‘course that and a quarter will buy a cup of coffee) is that to name the greatest maker of them all you need a couple more criteria:

    1. A preference for aptitude and ability over supernatural-ability (they can have super powers but their making should be based on natural ability i.e. Tony Stark > Dr. Doom > Forge > Green Lantern)

    2. Enjoys and engages in making the products at least as much as using them (i.e. Reed Richards. > Batman.)

    It’s Reed Richards for me; he’s the only one I consistently see tinkering and making in his spare time, and who seems to use a “maker’s mind” to defeat his enemies rather than just his powers and gadgets.

    (Just to stir things up… is there a MacGyver Comic?)

  74. I’m leaning towards Tony Stark… But what I’d really like to do is separate the super-heroes from the super-villains, figure out who is the greatest maker in each category, and then see a storyline that plots them against each other.

  75. Your description of Forge actually leaves out a big part of his power: in addition to understanding any device he sees, he also *inherently understands how to create any device he can imagine.* Furthermore, Forge is a.k.a. “The Maker,” which should win him some points right there.

  76. Your description of Forge actually leaves out a big part of his power: in addition to understanding any device he sees, he also *inherently understands how to create any device he can imagine.*

    While the X-Men universe is basically a subset of the greater Marvel universe, Forge basically built every gadget worth mentioning in the X-Men universe, including the modern versions of Cerebro, Prof. X’s chair, Nimrod the Super Sentinel, the Danger Room, and countless others. Furthermore, Forge is a.k.a. “The Maker,” which should win him some points right there.

    Check out “powers and abilities” for more information here:
    http://www.comicvine.com/forge/29-4279/

  77. Agatha Heterodyne is my vote. Self-replicating robots that build their own inventions, can hack a sentient castle, built the ultimate coffeemaker, can repair pretty much anything, and approaches it all with manic enthusiasm and excitement.

    However, I do feel compelled to mention the Joker. He creates a ton of evil devices, all very creative, all with his own special theme of demented toys, in combinations without end. He’s batspit insane, but then, so are a lot of geniuses…

  78. Don’t forget Buckaroo Banzai! Physicist, eurosurgeon and rock musician, not to mention inventor of the Oscillation Overthruster.

  79. Lonnie Machin- AKA Anarky, the young maker and anti hero with unrealistic ideals in all of us.

    Originally introduced as a young teen hacker, he started out making a tazer cane and gas bombs in his chem lab at high school, but soon moved on to bigger things. Used a homebrew biofeedback machine to fuse his brain and gain control of his subconscious. Made an AI personality, teleporter, and a device to make everyone honest.

    On the list, id pick Adrian Viedt. He hacked himself, ethics and philosophy, and the world and society in general with his final project.

  80. The author states in the Querl description, “OK, so he’s a smart dude, but he was also born in the 30th century and is an alien, so I’m going to say that our humans who can almost do most of these things in present time are a little more impressive.” Following the same logic one can assert that Brain (from Pinky and the Brain) is in fact the greatest engineer. Brain is not only not from the 30th century and has done most of the things but he is in fact an incarcerated rodent that must first wangle his way out of a human scientist designed prison each time he even begins to undergo an engineering feat. If we aren’t making caveats on space/time origins then the greatest engineer has to be Q from the Q continuum as he/they can/have built anything.

    1. star trek Q might be outside the comic universe right? i’m also not sure the instant-wish-thought-like power is making.

      1. Q Comic Book http://www.comicvine.com/q-continuum/34-55688/
        Hey just because something takes a race so little effort as to make it appear trivial doesn’t mean it is not an impressive piece of engineering. But facts are facts the Q could easily make anything Tony Stark or Batman could and just because they can do it so easily doesn’t mean they should be modded down for it but quite the opposite. It really is just about ones frame of reference.

        1. dr. manhattan was almost q-like, but at least he made cool art on mars. q didn’t really make anything, he conjured up stuff and never seemed interested or aware of how it actually happened. he’s my fave character in stark trek next gen but i dunno, hard for me to consider him a maker.

          1. Ya I really enjoyed the Q episodes as well . The one thing that I appreciate about them though is that they didn’t start off as “god-like” so actually the “conjuring” started off as science to their species; they just grew so adept at technology that it now appears as if it is magic. They once alluded to the fact that humans would grow so powerful and that would mean the Tony Stark’s are just the precursor engineers to the pinnacle Q-like engineers which would make them technically lesser.

  81. When I was maybe twelve years old, I picked up the late, great Dwayne McDuffie’s Static #1. There was this very beautiful sequence of panels where we see Static sewing his own costume (needle, thread, and intense look of concentration on his face), and using his electrical powers to weld a garbage can lid into a collapsible flying disk. Maybe Static’s level of output doesn’t compete with Tony Stark, but when I picture myself making things, that image of Static focusing intently on sewing his costume definitely comes to mind.

    He was also a prankster – in an early issue he added extra power to the batteries in the TV remote to give his sister a small shock.

  82. http://www.goonpatrol.com/comic/
    **Warning** NSFW!

    Veronica and Claudia from the Plan B webcomic (that is the link above). It’s an adult comic meant for an adult audience. Probably tamer than Watchmen.

    Veronica is a supervillain but in partial defense she’s mainly that way because her ex-husband is a superhero and she has beef with him (and he’s a jerk, and there are other superheroes in this universe that are even bigger jerks). To further that idea, she has an alternate self that is a superhero because the alternate ex is a supervillain, so there’s that. Anyway, she isn’t out to get normal humanity, in other words, but isn’t above stealing technology and taking out superheroes who attack her in the process; and she might be more interested in serving herself than the greater good but that’s not something that’s explored satisfactorily either way (there are more immediate issues and the comic is short).

    As to actually making things, she created some kind of force that creates “synchronicity” which causes wacky and coincidental situations around her, seemingly just for the fun of it because it really doesn’t serve her very well. Notably, her ex-husband considers it brilliant. She does steal things but then hacks it into something different or more suited to her purposes. She programs, thinks mostly well on her feet (often coming up with an unusual response to a given situation), probably loses as much as she wins (so she’s human), and extremely smart but still makes mistakes (once again, human…-ish). She’s got a pretty killer (living!) lab and nearly all of her gear/tech/gadgets were made by her or modified by her. Not to spoil it too much, but she is able to hold her own against impossible odds, escape using her own technology if it gets bad, fix or hack almost anything, creatively tackle almost any obstacle, and has a “healthy” curiousity. I write that in quotes because it does get her in trouble.

    I suppose “human” isn’t really a criteria for being a super maker, or best maker, but as far as “superhuman maker who is still human” goes, I think she fits the bill admirably. After all, isn’t making mistakes half the fun of making in general? And who among you hasn’t worn a burned appendage or random cut with at least little bit of pride — even if you admit you might have gotten the injury in a stupid way?

    Claudia has a (disturbing) love for machines, particularly engines, so she’s more of your typical greasemonkey, albeit borderline superhuman greasemonkey (she does work on supertech after all) and her ability at actually making things isn’t really explored but it’s kind of implied that she at least works very closely with Veronica and does the maintenance/repair work while Veronica is out. Maybe they should be considered together.

    Anyway, 2 female makers in one “Box” *snicker* (you’ll get it if you read the comic and no, it’s not a dirty joke).

  83. True,
    however (and I’ve only read the book, not followed the comics), she doesn’t seem to have much conscious control over her abilities, it’s as much that they control her as she using the abilities.

    David Lang

  84. I nominate Wildcat from Talespin; even though he was a sidekick, he could repair anything and make it fly! Even out of the most improbable materials! A true maker with the willingness to improvise!

  85. Absolutely, Gyro Gearloose should be included!!
    In fact there is no other to compete with him. Since his creation by the revered Carl Barks in 1952 (that’s 59 years ago, folks), he has been inventing things in record time every year and is still doing so.

    I agree with Martin Hohenberg, his inventions are purposed for the peaceful assistance to society and not to wage war against anybody, and therefore should get more points for their superior morals (even if they do backfire on him sometimes).

    Also, he invents for all comers not for his own benefit only. Thus, he is not only a maker he is an entrepreneur and free-lancer.

    The range of function and application of his creations could easily encompass and surpass that of all others on your list: transportation, time-travel, self-defense, communication, chemical, hobbyist, and culinary and I am sure I have forgotten a few other areas which would pop up with a perusal through the past 60 years or so of his activities.

  86. I dont really have time to read everything and the comments… There is so many characters in comic books who are great makers, from Dr Octopus as we call him in France to Magneto… Iron Man seems like the best though if we take account of his popularity since before the movies… What about semi-human or non-human makers… I was thinking about the Beyonder, who is THE Ultimate maker…

  87. I have to promote the very capable Dr. A. Heller.

    From Wikipedia:

    Dr. Heller is a scientist who designs weapons such as the “blame thrower” and the “shrinker.” The Mystery Men almost dismiss him as a lunatic when he tells them that his weapons are strictly non-lethal, until he demonstrates a “canned tornado” on the Spleen. He frequents Champion City nursing homes, “for the ladies.” He is rather eccentric, but aids the Mystery Men by providing them with weapons and outfitting their Herkimer Battle Jitney with a large magnet.

    Mystery Men is a 1999 comedy film based on a Dark Horse comic book series feature in Flaming Carrot Comics

  88. There’s an equally rich field in the SF genre, from Colin Kapp’s Unorthodox Engineers to a certain alien race whose entire philosophy is reuse

  89. Hands down Tony Stark/ Iron Man. Not only is he an amazing inventor/ maker/ innovator he is also the greatest hero of all of the above.

  90. I kind of like Iron Man myself, but I feel obligated to add another cartoon character to the mix: Riff from Sluggy Freelance (http://www.sluggy.com/). He makes guns, bazookas, power weapons, robots, powered armor, time machines, dimensional travel machines and more, and he LOVES to blow stuff up. He’s really good at using at-hand materials (e.g. he gave a giant robot an AI based on a See-‘n-Say).

  91. A BIG vote for Hank Pym (Ant Man/Giant Man). See Stephen Lauren’s post below. At least promote him to the top 15.

  92. A BIG vote for Hank Pym (Ant Man/Giant Man). See previous post by Stephen Lauren. At least promote him to the top 15.

  93. Thanos, hands down. Marvel comics megalomaniac and cosmic entrepreneur; he made that spiffy chair, several space-faring vessels, he hacked Galactus’s technology (and Galactus’s creation: Tyrant as well), AND made a giant gun to exploit infinity gems to blow up things… like stars. All of the comic makers above are great, but none hold a candle to Thanos. :)

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  96. I’m amazed that you didnt include Yoko Tsuno a female electrical engineer super hero.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoko_TsunoAlso Washu Hakubi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washu_HakubiRitsuko Akagihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ritsuko_AkagiBattle Programmer Shirase (super silly mega cute series)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Programmer_ShiraseMiyiki Kobayakawa (Your Under Arrest!)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miyuki_KobayakawaIrene “Rally” Vincent & “Minnie” May Hopkinshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunsmith_CatsIt seems to me that smart, intelligent, creative and hot maker babes are common in Manga. Though there is a distinct lack of that in american comics. It seems to me that the main feature of women in american comics is sex appeal first and then the rest just comes as a sort of character padding. (have really no idea why everything suddenly became bold. Cant get rid of it either sorry)

  97. I’m amazed that you didnt include Yoko Tsuno a female electrical engineer super hero.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoko_TsunoAlso Washu Hakubi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washu_HakubiRitsuko Akagihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ritsuko_AkagiBattle Programmer Shirase (super silly mega cute series)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Programmer_ShiraseMiyiki Kobayakawa (Your Under Arrest!)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miyuki_KobayakawaIrene “Rally” Vincent & “Minnie” May Hopkinshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunsmith_CatsIt seems to me that smart, intelligent, creative and hot maker babes are common in Manga. Though there is a distinct lack of that in american comics. It seems to me that the main feature of women in american comics is sex appeal first and then the rest just comes as a sort of character padding. (have really no idea why everything suddenly became bold. Cant get rid of it either sorry)

  98. I had to scan all the way to the end to see if you included Gyro. Why not?
    I thought we were all living in a non discriminating world now. So what if he’s a duck.
    He had some great ideas and I loved his little helpers.

  99. Hands-down, Blue Beetle.  He was smarter than Batman, built an Iron Man-like suit for Booster Gold (with fully functioning artificial arm), had a compressed-air device than could fell a charging rhino (which is handy if you find yourself in places where rhinos typically attack, but less so on the workbench), built several solar-powered airships that were remote-controllable via controls on his gloves, AND he was somebody that would be fun at parties.

    The only problem with picking him?  He died ’cause Batman was busy being a jerk.

  100. It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks for sharing this with others.
    So true, and what’s perhaps even more devastating is that there’s been so little support to help the community rebuild.

  101. Come on, Spidey doesn’t even get acknowledged? His web shooters, ingenuity in changing the suit based on the situation, like his electro proof suit, his later higher tech suit, etc. he’s not the BEST maker by any means, but not even an acknowledgement? He impressed Richards, Banner, and ESPECIALLY Stark in his days…

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  111. You should probably do more research on the characters you’re talking about. Forge mainly reverse engineers only made a handful of inventions? Yeah, wrong. He makes damn near EVERY piece of technology the X-Men use, and more (X-Factor, X-Force, Generation X, New Mutants, etc…) and has made technology for outside teams in the past. He built his own damn house, Eagle Plaza, a technological masterpiece. The Danger Room, the Blackbird, jetpacks, bionics, the list goes on… and in addition to what you have listed theres about a hundred other things listed on Wikipedia, if you took 5 minutes to check that out.

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